Home Recipes Cherry Tomato and Basil Pasta

Cherry Tomato and Basil Pasta

This cherry tomato and basil pasta has quickly become a new favorite in my kitchen!

The combination of sweet cherry tomatoes, fragrant garlic, and fresh basil is the most delightful blend of flavors.

What I love most about this recipe is its simplicity. With just a handful of ingredients, you can create a meal that tastes like it came straight from an Italian trattoria. 

A summery pasta salad with cherry tomatoes and basil, sprinkled with black pepper and Parmesan.
WANT TO SAVE THIS RECIPE?
Enter your email below & we'll send it straight to your inbox.

This dish is perfect for a quick weeknight dinner or a lazy lunch al fresco.

Pour yourself a glass of crisp white wine, twirl your fork, and savor every delicious bite!

Why You’ll Love This Cherry Tomato and Basil Pasta

Quick and Easy: This recipe can be prepared in under 30 minutes, making it perfect for busy weeknights or last-minute dinners.

Minimal Ingredients: With just a handful of ingredients, this dish is simple to shop for and doesn’t require a long list of items.

Bursting with Flavor: The blend of fresh cherry tomatoes, garlic, and basil creates a vibrant and delicious sauce.

Beautiful Presentation: The colorful cherry tomatoes and fresh basil make this dish visually appealing.

Ingredients

  • Spaghetti or Linguine: The foundation of the dish. Long, thin strands of pasta grab onto the light tomato and garlic sauce.
  • Cherry Tomatoes: They’re sweet, juicy, and flavorful when cooked.
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil: It adds richness and depth to the dish. Use a high-quality version for maximum flavor.
  • Garlic: Thinly sliced garlic infuses the oil and tomatoes with pungent, savory notes. Don’t overcook it or it will turn bitter.
  • Red Pepper Flakes: Just a pinch is all you need. Add more if you like it spicy.
  • Kosher Salt and Black Pepper: Kosher salt has a clean taste and is easy to pinch. Freshly ground black pepper adds a subtle bite.
  • Parmesan Cheese: Freshly grated Parmesan melts into the pasta and rounds out the dish.
  • Fresh Basil Leaves: They bring a bright, herbal freshness to complement the tomatoes. 
Cherry tomato and linguine pasta with fresh basil leaves in a saucepan.

How to Make Cherry Tomato and Basil Pasta

This dish is restaurant-worthy, but it’s so easy to make!

1. Cook the pasta. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook until al dente, about 8-10 minutes. Reserve 1 cup of the pasta cooking water, then drain the pasta.

2. Sauté the garlic. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the sliced garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until it just starts to turn golden, about 2 minutes.

3. Add the tomatoes. Add the cherry tomatoes, red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper to the skillet. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes start to burst and release their juices, 8-10 minutes. Gently press on the tomatoes with the back of a spoon to help them break down.

4. Combine the pasta. Add the drained pasta to the skillet with the tomatoes. Pour in 1/2 cup of the reserved pasta water and toss to coat the pasta in the sauce. Add more pasta water as needed to loosen the sauce. Cook for 1-2 minutes more.

5. Add the basil. Remove the skillet from the heat. Add the torn basil leaves and Parmesan cheese. Toss until the basil is wilted and the cheese is melted.

6. Serve immediately. Divide the pasta between bowls. Drizzle with a little more olive oil and garnish with additional Parmesan cheese and basil. Serve immediately. Enjoy!

An overhead shot of a colorful pasta salad with cherry tomatoes and basil in a white serving bowl.

Tips for the Best Cherry Tomato and Basil Pasta

Follow these tips for a dish everyone will devour!

  • Pick your favorite pasta. Spaghetti or linguine works great, but you can also use short pasta shapes like penne, fusilli, or orecchiette to help capture the sauce.
  • Burst your tomatoes. Use the back of a wooden spoon to gently press on the tomatoes as they soften to help them burst and release their juices.
  • Choose your favorite cheese. Parmesan is classic, but you can also use Pecorino Romano, Asiago, crumbled feta, or goat cheese for a different flavor.
  • Give it a protein boost. Add some cooked chicken, shrimp, white beans, or chickpeas.
  • Add extra flavor. Add a splash of balsamic vinegar or some pitted olives to the sauce.
  • Make it a meal. Pair this pasta with crusty bread and a simple green salad, Caesar, or arugula with lemon vinaigrette.
Homemade cherry tomato and basil pasta with parmesan cheese and basil in a bowl.

How to Store

Here’s how to store leftovers to enjoy this pasta again.

To Store: Store the cherry tomato and basil pasta in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Toss with a bit of olive oil to prevent sticking.

To Reheat: Reheat the pasta by placing it in a skillet with a splash of water or olive oil over medium heat. Stir occasionally until warmed through, about 2-3 minutes. Or, microwave the pasta in a microwave-safe dish with a few drops of water, covered loosely, for 1-2 minutes, stirring halfway through.

More Hearty Pasta Dinners You’ll Love

Lemon Ricotta Pasta
Garlic Parmesan Chicken Pasta
Sun-Dried Tomato Chicken Pasta
Pesto Shrimp Pasta

Cherry Tomato and Basil Pasta

Course: Main CourseCuisine: American
Servings

8

servings
Prep time

10

minutes
Cooking time

15

WANT TO SAVE THIS RECIPE?
Enter your email below & we'll send it straight to your inbox.
minutes
Calories

322

kcal

This cherry tomato and basil pasta is light, refreshing, and delicious! The addition of garlic and Parmesan cheese makes it totally irresistible.

Ingredients

  • 1 pound spaghetti or linguine

  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

  • 4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced

  • 2 pints cherry tomatoes

  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes

  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

  • 1 cup fresh basil leaves, torn

  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving

Instructions

  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook until al dente, about 8-10 minutes. Reserve 1 cup of the pasta cooking water, then drain the pasta.
  • Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the sliced garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until it just starts to turn golden, about 2 minutes.
  • Add the cherry tomatoes, red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper to the skillet. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes start to burst and release their juices, 8-10 minutes. Gently press on the tomatoes with the back of a spoon to help them break down.
  • Add the drained pasta to the skillet with the tomatoes. Pour in 1/2 cup of the reserved pasta water and toss to coat the pasta in the sauce. Add more pasta water as needed to loosen the sauce. Cook for 1-2 minutes more.
  • Remove the skillet from the heat. Add the torn basil leaves and Parmesan cheese. Toss until the basil is wilted and the cheese is melted.
  • Divide the pasta between bowls. Drizzle with a little more olive oil and garnish with additional Parmesan cheese and basil. Serve immediately. Enjoy!

Did you like the recipe?

Click on a star to rate it!

Average rating 5 / 5. Vote count: 2

No votes so far! Be the first to rate this post.

Thanks!

Share on social media:

We are sorry that this post was not useful for you!

Let us improve this post!

Tell us how we can improve this post?

author avatar
Kim - InsanelyGood
Hey there! I'm Kim. I love running, cooking, and curling up with a good book! I share recipes for people who LOVE good food, but want to keep things simple :)

Leave a Comment